Man shot and injured in North Kohala, Kohala Middle School remains locked down

KAILUA-KONA — Police say officers are searching in the area of Wainaia Gulch off Akoni Pule Highway in North Kohala for a suspected shooter after man was shot.

The victim was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital and later to flown to Oahu for additional care.


Akoni Pule Highway is closed between Iole and Halaula roads, according to police. The road closure went into effect shortly after 10 a.m. And Kohala Middle School will remain on lockdown until police give an all-clear for the students to be released.

The Kapaau-based school, which boasts an enrollment of 183 students, has been in lockdown since 9:35 a.m., according to Derek Inoshita, Department of Education spokesman.

Though school normally ends at 12:55 p.m. on Wednesdays, Inoshita said all students will remain in lockdown at the facility until police give an all-clear that the scene is safe.

“Each classroom has emergency supplies and they are escorting students to the restrooms, as needed,” Inoshita said.

Officers are on the campus and messages are being sent to parents.

Kohala High School is not on lockdown, Inoshita said.

The Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union branch and Kapaau Post Office are also closed.

As the incident continues, police continue a manhunt for 41-year-old Walter Gomes III of Kona.

Gomes was last seen fleeing into a field in the Hawi area on Thursday, March 21. He’s wanted for questioning in connection with a reported shooting March 20 in Kailua-Kona that left a woman with non life-threatening injuries.


Another man actively sought by police, 31-year-old Wesley Kaimana Brooks of Pahoa, was arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of terroristic threatening and reckless endangering. He had not been charged as of Wednesday morning.

Brooks’ 26-year-old ex-girlfriend told police Brooks had fired several shots at her on Monday. She was uninjured.

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